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The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday quashed the N2.1 billion money laundering charges filed against the founder of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The appellate court upheld the no-case submission made by Dokpesi and Daar Communications in the seven-count criminal charge.

In a judgment in an appeal filed by Kanu Agabi (SAN) on behalf of Dokpesi, Justice Elfreda Oyebisi Williams-Dawodu held that the EFCC failed to establish a prima facie case against the appellant in all the charges

Justice Williams-Dawodu further held that the ingredients of the offences were not provided by the prosecution as required by law.

The court agreed with Agabi that being a predicate offence, the ingredients of the offences against the appellant must be clearly provided.

The court further held that EFCC failed to prove that the N2.1 billion allegedly received by the appellant as payment was a proceed of breach of trust.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, in November 2018 dismissed the no-case submission filed by the AIT founder on the grounds that a prima facie had been successfully established against him by the EFCC in the alleged N2.1 billion money laundering case.

Justice John Tsoho, the current Chief Judge after the ruling, ordered Dokpesi to open his defence on the grounds that he had some explanations to offer in the charges against him.

Dokpesi then approached the Appeal Court and prayed that the ruling of the lower court made against him be set aside and his no-case submission be upheld.

The Court of Appeal agreed with Dokpesi and consequently set aside the decision of the lower court and also quashed the charges.

Justice William-Dowodu in a unanimous judgment held that there was nothing in the evidence of the 14 witnesses called by EFCC to persuade the court to compel the appellant to enter defence in the charges where ingredients of the offence were not provided.

“No case was made against the appellant in counts 1, 2, 3 and 4 to warrant his being called upon to open his defence.

“There is no possibility that the appellant can be convicted in the charges because the evidence of the witnesses is so manifestly unreliable.

“In totality, this appeal has merit, it is allowed and the ruling of the Federal High Court is hereby set aside and the appellant is discharged”, Justice Williams-Dawodu held.

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